In an increasingly competitive job market, it is important to stand out from the crowd and be noticed by recruiters. We all know the meaning of the term ‘brand’ and how effective it can be in a company’s reputation. Names such as Apple, Sony or Nike are immediately identifiable and carry with them in some sense a promise of product quality and consumer expectation. The same is true of personal brands. Prospective employees are selling a ‘product’ (themselves) to a ‘consumer’ (the company). Having a good brand gives you the cutting edge in job interviews, and prepares you to answer the dreaded question, “tell me a bit about yourself”. Below are some useful tips on how to build your personal brand.
First things first: know who your target audience is, and be clear about the image you wish to present to them. Once you know your audience, get their attention. Do not be complacent and wait for them to come to you. Add them on networking sites such as LinkedIn, and get noticed. This will make it easier for you to promote your brand. Make your brand clear, concise and memorable. What aspect of ‘you’ you wish to promote will depend on the industry you are applying for, so it is important to do some background research and cater your brand to the skillset that employers in this area are looking for. Above all, be consistent across all modes of communication, including interviews, social media and CVs.
There is a strong correlation between a successful brand and a successful career, and this is no coincidence. Having a strong brand makes you appear both motivated and disciplined. It provides a direction and a mind set that sets you up to succeed. Credentials are important, and you are unlikely to get anywhere without them. However, if many others have similar credentials, then to stand out you have to go one step further. It is here that a focus on personal branding can help you stand out from the crowd. As Daniel Bliley, creator of the app Passport, notes: “Branding today is as much about consistently delivering on your promise as it is about differentiation. You have to position yourself in unique ways in order to stand out from others. You have to meet all of the subconscious expectations and go beyond the mundane to truly impress”. A strong brand is constantly evolving and it defines you in your professional career. Adam Watson
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